Depression is a serious mental illness and it can have a big impact on your life. But it can be difficult to know whether you have depression if you’ve not experienced it before. When you’re depressed, you can experience intense sadness. You might lose interest in things that used to make you happy. Or you might feel hopeless or worthless. Depression can impact people differently, depending on how intense your depression is.
What is Depression?
Feeling upset or sad sometimes, is normal. Everyone experiences feeling down from time to time. But when those feelings won’t go away, it could be a sign of depression. Depression is more than just feeling a bit low. It can impact how you cope with day to day tasks or how you feel. It can even affect how you eat, sleep or study. Even getting out of bed can be a struggle.
Depression is a mental illness that is best described as a long-lasting low mood. It’s common and affects around one in ten people. It’s important to remember that depression is not something that you can just ‘snap out of’. And it’s not a sign of weakness.
There are many reasons why you might become depressed. You might be struggling with bullying or abuse. You might have suffered a difficult life event. Or you might have a family history of depression and mental illness. There’s not always a clear cause and anyone can develop depression. But it is treatable. If you’re worried that you have depression, know that there is support and help available. Many people have beaten depression. And you can too.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. Some of the signs that you might be depressed include:
A low mood and feeling sad or angry
Have less energy to do things
Feeling tired all the time
Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Some people describe depression as feeling like they are in a black hole. You might feel very lonely and like no-one understands what you’re going through. It can also make you feel numb and disconnected from everything. When depression is very intense, it can also lead to suicidal thoughts.
While you might feel hopeless, it’s important to remember that it’s just the symptom of your depression. By understanding what depression is and the signs of it, you can take steps to getting treatment to feel better.
What Does Depression Feel Like?
Depression can feel different depending on the situation. It can vary from person to person, as well as depending on how intense your depression is.
Most people who have depression describe it as a lonely experience. It’s common to feel like you’re completely alone in the world. This can make social experiences difficult. You might feel like everyone is against you or that you’re rejected by people. Depression can be isolating, and you might feel like you’re separated from everyone else.
Some people feel paranoid and like people are talking about them behind their back. This can make it difficult to trust people. It’s common to avoid crowds when you’re depressed too. Even though you feel lonely, you often want to be by yourself as well. This can feel confusing
When you’re depressed, you often have low self-esteem. It makes you feel worthless and you lose your confidence. It’s common to seek validation and approval from people, either at home or at school, to make yourself feel better.
The physical side effects of depression can include tiredness, aches and pains, or feeling shaky. Headaches are also common. Some people describe a feeling of pressure in their heads.
Because depression can affect your appetite, you might not be taking care of yourself as well. You might be inclined to eat junk food because it’s easy or not eat at all. This can weaken your immune system, so you might notice that you get ill more often.
Depression can make it difficult to fall asleep or waking up a lot during the night. Or it might make you so tired that you want to sleep all the time. It can be difficult to get up in the morning. Depression can mess up your sleep patterns. This can make you tired during the day, making concentrating at school or on homework difficult.
For some, it can be hard to describe depression. It can feel like it takes over your whole body and mind, impacting every part of your life.
Treatment for Depression
If you think you might be depressed, it’s important to get help from a professional. You should book an appointment with your doctor who can check if you have depression and choose the best treatment for you. There are different treatment options.
Some people find that medication is the best way to cope with their symptoms. Others respond to talking therapies to discuss the cause of their depression and find ways to manage their illness. You might find that a combination of these two treatments works best for you.
As well as speaking to your doctor, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Make sure that you’re eating regularly and sticking to healthy meals. Try to stick to a regular sleep routine so that you’re not as tired during the day.
And keep active. Studies show that exercise is helpful for people with depression. It can lift your mood and improve your self-esteem and confidence. If you don’t have the energy for a high-intensity workout, choose something calming like yoga or going for a walk. Anything that gets you moving will help. It can be hard to motivate yourself when you have depression. But the effects are worth the extra effort.
Feeling depressed can impact your life in a lot of ways. It can make you feel bad about yourself and make day to day tasks difficult. But there are ways of beating depression and feeling happy again. Don’t feel like you are alone because there is plenty of support available for you.